Dr Sebastian Schwecke

Sebastian Schwecke received his Ph.D. from Leipzig University in 2010 in political science with a study on the political economy of Hindu nationalist and Islamist movements. Subsequently, he shifted to the Centre for Modern Indian Studies at Göttingen where he developed a research agenda combining social and economic history with economic anthropology. Before joining Max Weber Foundation, he was an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. His main interests relate to the study of markets and exchange, credit/debt and speculation, extra-legality, uncertainty, trust, hope, calculability, and reputation as well as labour and skill.

Research interests

  • History and anthropology of markets
  • Exchange
  • Credit/debt
  • Speculation and gambling
  • Extra-legality
  • Uncertainty, trust, hope, calculability
  • Labour relations
  • Skill

Select publications

Monographs

Schwecke, Sebastian (forthcoming): Debt, Trust, and Reputation. Extra-legal Finance in Northern India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schwecke, Sebastian (2011): New Cultural Identitarian Political Movements in Developing Societies. The Bharatiya Janata Party. London: Routledge.

Edited volumes

Gandhi, Ajay; Harriss-White, Haynes, Douglas E.; Schwecke, Sebastian (Eds) (2020): Rethinking Markets in Modern India. Contested Jurisdiction and Embedded Exchange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Elsenhans, Hartmut; Ouaissa, Rachid; Schwecke, Sebastian; Tétreault, Mary-Ann (Eds) (2015): The Transformation of Politicised Religion. From Zealots into Leaders? London: Ashgate.

Articles and book chapters

Schwecke, Sebastian (forthcoming): Merchants, Moneylenders, Karkhanedars, and the Emergence of the Informal Sector. In Harald Fischer-Tiné, Maria Framke (Eds.): Routledge Handbook of Colonial South Asia.

Gandhi, Ajay; Schwecke, Sebastian (2020): Markets in Modern India. Embedded, Contested, Pliable. In Ajay Gandhi, Harriss-White, Haynes, Douglas E., Sebastian Schwecke (Eds): Rethinking Markets in Modern India. Contested Jurisdiction and Embedded Exchange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1-28.

Schwecke, Sebastian (2020): The Artifice of Trust. Reputational and Procedural Registers of Trust in North Indian Informal Finance. In Ajay Gandhi, Harriss-White, Haynes, Douglas E., Sebastian Schwecke (Eds.): Rethinking Markets in Modern India. Contested Jurisdiction and Embedded Exchange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 147-178.

Schwecke, Sebastian (2020): Das kulturelle Missverständnis als Quelle – Robert Heindls ‘Meine Reise nach den Strafkolonien’. In Maria *Rhode, Ernst Wawra (Eds.): Quellenanalyse. Ein epochenübergreifendes Handbuch für das Geschichtsstudium. Berlin: UTB, 376-383.

Schwecke, Sebastian (2018): A Tangled Jungle of Disorderly Transactions? The Production of a Monetary Outside in a North Indian Town. In Modern Asian Studies 52 (4), pp. 1375–1419.

Schwecke, Sebastian; Ouaissa, Rachid (2015): New Cultural ldentitarian Political Movements in North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. In Hartmut Elsenhans, Rachid Ouaissa, Sebastian Schwecke, Mary-Ann Tétreault (Eds): The Transformation of Politicised Religion. From Zealots into Leaders? London: Ashgate, pp. 1–14.

Schwecke, Sebastian (2015): The Trivialization of Hindu Nationalism and the Reconfiguration of the Indian Bourgeoisie. In Hartmut Elsenhans, Rachid Ouaissa, Sebastian Schwecke, Mary-Ann Tétreault (Eds): The Transformation of Politicized Religion. From Zealots into Leaders? London: Ashgate, pp. 33–56.

Current research projects

Work in the bazaar – the Organisation of Work in an Urban Milieu beyond State Regulation

Funded by DFG, this research project observes the development of work processes and labour organisation since the 1930s in commercial professions that constitute one of the bedrocks of employment in urban South Asia. The project combines ethnographic and historiographic methods to study the intricate relationship between work processes, the organisation of commercial space and information flows, and the organisation of labour in the north Indian city of Banaras.

Image: Anoop Sharma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debt, Trust, and Reputation – Extra-legal Finance in Modern India

This research project studied the transformation of financial markets and the emergence of novel extra-legal financial markets in northern India since the late nineteenth century. It combines historiographic and ethnographic approaches to analyse the emergence of economies of trust and reputation that served to stabilize financial markets that operate comprehensively beyond the reach of the Indian state without leading to the establishment of structures for enforcing obligation through social ties.

Academic background

2018-2020

2018

2016 – 2017

2016 – 2017

2010 – 2016



2010



2005 – 2010

Associate professor, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Fellow, International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden University

Research fellow, Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Göttingen University

Fellow, Erasmus Mundus Experts Asia, Pune University

Akademischer Rat, Modern Indian History Research Group, Centre for Modern Indian Studies, University of Göttingen, Germany

Post-doc, State and Democracy Research Group, Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Göttingen University

Doctoral Researcher and Post-doc, Institute of Political Science, Leipzig University